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Can I qualify for a mortgage (with or without my husband's income)?

I have a 4-year work history (earning about $75,000). My husband has been at his job for 13 months now (earning $45,000). We are trying to decide if we should apply for a mortgage in just my name or in both our names. Last year we tried to apply and were turned down because he did not have the employment history required.

He left work in 2008 and went to grad school, which he finished in 2010. He then looked for work but could not find anything, so he went back to school and finished his new program (teaching certificate) in 2012. Then he looked for work until eventually returning to his former company (a job not related to his teaching certificate but arguably related to his grad degree in sociology) (and at his former company, he had a 2+ year work history from 2006-2008). He started work again on 3/1/2013.

We are okay with applying in only my name, but I want to be sure the debt in my husband's name (namely, his $500/month student loan payment) will not count against my DTI ratio if his income does not count. If applying in just my name, we would be looking for up to a $250,000 mortgage - my monthly debts (all student loans) are $561. I do have a 401k loan to which I pay $80 each (biweekly) paycheck; I know some lenders will count this against DTI and some won't. We have about $10,000 for a down payment.

Should we wait until he has been at his job for 2 full years to be safe? Our current lease ends in July, and we really don't want to rent any longer than we have to.
  • March 29 2014 - Saint Louis
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Answers (5)

Your husband's loan would not count against you, if you apply in your name only. If he doesn't have significant debt apart from his student loan, I would suggest applying in both of your names (especially given your excellent credit scores). As long as he has been on his job for 6+ months, we (or most other lenders) would be able to use all of his income. I am a local St. Louis lender with 10 years of experience. 90% of my business consists of purchases and first-time home buyers. I would be happy to offer to meet with you and your husband offer you a free pre-approval. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions.
  • June 16 2014
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It is hard to tell if it would be better to have him off or on the loan without any of your actual numbers for your finances. Also, it still may be possible to put him on the loan depending on more details of the situation. I recommend that you speak with a loan officer and tell him your situation up front. You discuss with the loan officer the exact thing you are saying on this post. This will allow the lender to view your situation and see which option would work best for you. Either way, the best thing for you to do is to speak with a knowledgeable lender to see if you can get started on financing a new home. If you need additional assistance, feel free to reach out. Good luck!
  • April 01 2014
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Profile picture for GMerino
Thank you, for you post!  If you applied on your own your husbands debt will not count towards.  Your husband having had the opportunity to go to school is good and will count towards the two years needed for employment.  You would want to get things in order now as we are heading in to April and July is just around the corner. 
  • March 29 2014
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Hello, It sounds as though you have done your research and know what it takes to qualify. You are correct in saying that if you do not use your husbands income, you will not have to count any of his debt in your DTI unless you are consigned on any of his. Regardless, it sounds as though you are in a good situation and should have no problem qualifying for a mortgage even without your husband being on his current job for two years. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I work weekends and evenings so feel free to call whenever. I am a local St. Louis lender and I specialize in purchases. I would be happy to offer a free income, credit, and pre approval for you and your husband. Thanks.-David
  • March 29 2014
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Profile picture for stlouisblues
I should have specified that we both also have excellent credit, with credit scores (depending on the agency) between 761 and 816.
  • March 29 2014
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